What's better than a free operating system? Right now, Windows is costing the enterprise some big money. And although it's a necessary cost of doing business, if Chrome OS eventually becomes business-friendly, it's conceivable that the operating system could significantly reduce the cost of running a network. Faced with that proposition, most companies would be willing to forgo better support if it means a robust operating system that won't cost them a dime. It could totally change the way companies make buying decisions. And it might mean a seismic shift both in the software space and in the hardware market.
A trip to the cloud, anyone?
One of the most important facets of Chrome OS is that it's in the cloud. So, instead of forcing employees to work locally and replicate changes they've made to client data to the server, they can instead work online and have their progress constantly updated for everyone to see. That's a major advancement for the business world.
Accounting firms are notorious for this. Instead of simply working in the cloud where it would be far easier to keep client progress updated, most firms have employees working locally. At the end of the day or at given time intervals, they have the option of replicating all their progress back to the server. If more than one employee is working on the same client, it can cause replication errors. When that happens, both employees will need to sort out the trouble before they can move on. With work in the cloud, it prevents those replication errors and makes for a more productive work environment.
It's about the software
But before all this can happen, Google needs to make a concerted effort to work with third-party developers to make it easy for them to port applications to Chrome OS. Although the company said that the "Web is the platform," it doesn't mean anything unless developers can easily exploit it and bring their software to the OS.
That might be the biggest obstacle facing enterprise users. Since many of them rely on high-powered software, Chrome OS might not be able to handle it. If not, they will be forced to stick with Windows.
Can it get to the enterprise?
In the end, there's no way to know if Chrome OS will actually make its way to the enterprise. There are certainly a slew of obstacles Google faces before it can meet the demands of the high-powered market sector. But if it wants to succeed, it must meet those demands. And I'm willing to bet that Google knows that.
So, I'm looking forward to big things from Chrome OS. And although it might look like a long-shot now, I'm expecting it to eventually make its way to the enterprise market. It has all the basics to make it happen.